One of Fallout 76's primary 'end-game' options is to head deep into one of the game's three missile silos and fire off a nuke at an unsuspecting player or target. However, there are numerous steps that must be taken beforehand in order to actually get that far. Not only do you need to actually find the silos in the first place, but you'll have to go in with both a launch card and 8 parts of the code -- which must then be deciphered into an actual 8 digit number.
To put it plainly, there's a lot of steps, and if you don't know how to crack the code you'll be stonewalled before you can even really start. We're here to tell you exactly how to fire off a nuke and the steps needed for a successful launch.
Need some more Fallout 76 assistance? We've got plenty of help for surviving in the wasteland:
Fallout 76 - Finding the launch code pieces
Way before you're even really thinking of launching a nuke, you'll probably encounter a scorched officer with a beeping backpack on. The distinctive pinging noise you hear when around any of these enemies is definitely something you'll want to keep an ear out for -- the more code pieces you can grab early on, the less you'll have to track down later. While the code pieces can still reset before you're ready to launch, it's probably a good idea to grab them because there's really no reason not to.
Once you've looted the code piece, it'll get stored in the Notes section of your inventory. Each code piece is a letter-number pair, and additionally is assigned to one of the map's three missile silos: Alpha, Bravo, and Charlie. For instance: Silo Alpha Code Piece R-8. So we expect there are 24 code pieces available on the map at any one time, 8 for each of the three silos.
Fallout 76 - Joining the Enclave and accessing the command center
While this might not technically be necessary, if you're following the main quest line of the game, you'll end up having to launch a nuke anyways, so it's a good idea to knock out whatever quests are in the 'Main' tab of your Pip-Boy. In order to get started, we want to end up with the quest Bunker Buster, located at the Abandoned Waste Dump in the eastern areas of the map. The goal here is to find Sam Blackwell's access card in order to enter the Enclave Bunker under Whitesprings.
Once you've accessed the Enclave Bunker and met MODUS, you'll have to complete a few tasks for him before the issue of nukes comes up. The big task here is the main quest Officer on Deck. This task requires you to gain access to the command center, one of the key locations when it comes to preparing for your launch. You'll have to either complete 10 "Enclave Events', or kill ten Legendary rank enemies -- those with a star symbol to the right side of their names.
Luckily, Enclave Events are clearly marked on your map, and even more auspicious, you can teleport to them at any time at the cost of a few caps. So simply keep an eye out for these events until you've met your quota of points in order to gain MODUS's full support.
Fallout 76 - Nuclear Keycard and remaining code pieces
Once you've accessed the command center, you'll finally be able to make real progress to cracking a code. You'll gain access to a terminal that allows you to track both code-carrying officers as well as Cargobots carrying the necessary keycard. At this point, you simply have to return the bunker to tag an officer on the map, go out and grab their keycard, and return and repeat until you've got all 8 pieces.
Grabbing the nuclear keycard is slightly different. Instead of tagging a code piece for a particular silo, tell the computer you're interested in a keycard. You'll be given a location on the map where you'll have to down a Cargobot in order to retrieve the card. It'll be guarded by several Vertibots, so make sure to have plenty of firepower handy.
At the end of the day, we had the following Code Pieces, as an example:
Fallout 76 - Cracking the Cipher Code
Deciphering a completed code is no simple task. Luckily, a guide on Reddit by user Ghostofbigboss goes into the process of cracking the code. On the wall of the Enclave bunker's command center you'll see a partial code word for each silo. In our case we saw the following for Silo Alpha:
Using this wordfind webpage linked in the Reddit guide, we arrived at the following code word: stewarding. If you end up with multiple word possibilities, you'll either need to guess, or just wait for more of the code to appear on the Enclave's wall and eliminate some of the possible options.
You'll then need to use your keyword and string of letters from the code pieces in order to decript the cipher. In our case, using the keyword above and the string ACHKNOPS, we ended up at ELNPISTA.
Next, you'll need to use a word list to determine the probable order of the code, based on your deciphered string. In our case, ELNPISTA became three possible words: PANELIST, PLAINEST, and PANTILE. You may have to use some common sense to determine which of the words seems to be the most likely outcome. In our case, the correct choice ends up being PANELIST.
The Final Code
Lastly, take your rearranged word and work your way backwards to the original numbers that determined that word. For instance, in our example, the sequence went as follows: ACHKNOPS -> ELNPISTA --rearranged--> PANELIST -> KSHACNOP. We then look at the numbers paired with each of these letters in the original code pieces, and finally arrive at 85308049. Finally, a launch code.
Launching the Nuke
Finally, head out to the Silo of whichever code pieces you've been working with. Inside you'll final a large, linear dungeon of sorts full of turrets and robot guards. We suggest making sure you have lots of supplies on hand if you're planning on undertaking this on your own. Stimpacks, food and water, lots of ammo, and enough materials to repair your weapon halfway through. Any weapons that do additional damage to robots is a great choice, as is armor that prevents energy damage. Your best set of Power Armor is probably also a good idea.
At the very end of the dungeon, once you've defended the five robot npcs, you'll finally get a chance to choose a target and launch your warhead. Each nuke launch will be broadcasted to everyone on your current server with a three minute countdown timer and a designated blast zone marked on the map.
Once the nuke hits, that area of the map will be extra irradiated for the next several hours. Launching a nuke into certain locations will not only reveal new incredibly powerful enemies, but defeating these creatures can reveal unique upgrade components that can't be found in any other fashion. In our case, it was simply a level 68 scorched ghoul, but reports show of a high-level Scorchbeast Queen appearing from one of these blast zones.
We're not 100% sure of the list of unique items and gear available in the nuke launching or Scorchbeast Queen hunting process, but this set of steps should be a solid foundation for anyone looking to wrap up the game's primary questline, gather unique materials, or for those simply thinking that their neighbor's CAMP needs a little shakeup.